Thursday, April 30, 2009

All Over The Spectrum

Fascism and Communism are at two different ends of the political spectrum. Those claiming that President Obama is a communist (extreme socialism) in one breath and a fascist (extreme conservatism) in the next are displaying their ignorance of this political science precept.

In its simplest form, the political spectrum looks something like this:

Communist ---- Liberal ---- Centrist ---- Conservative ---- Fascist

Also, fascism is primarily considered an alliance of state and corporate power – corporate governance (which seems to be the system the Republicans have being trying to construct for the last three decades). From someone who knew, Benito Mussolini stated, “Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.”

I, too, feel some of Obama’s policies – unquestioned, and apparently unlimited, aid for Wall Street while the auto industry must beg, plead, restructure contracts, and make cuts – are directly from the right-wing playbook and seem tilted in favor of rich capitalists. But would I label them fascist? No. George Bush’s many tax cuts for the wealthy, his allowance of self-regulation by big business, his numerous signing statements and assaults on the law, his use of torture, and his “you’re with us or you’re against us” attitude seem to fit much better with fascist tenets.

Would I label Obama's tax breaks for the middle-class, concern over the environment, aspiration for better health care, and desire for a more and equitable society as communist? No. These are all components of government’s role and a rightful attempt at resurrecting our tattered social contract.

Does Obama feel everything should be state-owned and also somehow corporate-owned? Does he believe government should be big and small at the same time? Does he believe in trickle-down economics while also believing in higher taxation and redistribution?

The right-wing needs to put a little more time and thought into these accusations they throw out so haphazardly. There needs to be some logical equivalence to their haranguing if they want to be taken seriously. Rather than just being seen as sore-losers ranting away with any allegation, and supposed slur, they can imagine. Better yet, they could actually develop a productive platform of their own from which to build the country, instead of just mudslinging all the time.

I know the Republicans are down-and-out, lacking any vision or new ideas, truly only care about the ultra-wealthy, and are willing to say anything unconstructive to smear their opponents…but can’t they at least have some consistency to their condemnation?

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